Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Tuomo Ruutu's first goal with his new team
sent the New Jersey forward's former squad to their second straight defeat.
Ruutu registered the game-winner with 6:30 remaining to lift the Devils to a
5-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday at Prudential Center.
Acquired from the Hurricanes prior to Wednesday's trade deadline, Ruutu also
tallied an assist, while Adam Henrique scored twice and Travis Zajac
contributed a goal and two helpers for the Devils, who have won four of their
last six games.
"It couldn't have come any bigger for (Ruutu) against his former team and the
winner," Devils forward Ryane Clowe said of Ruutu scoring the game-winner
against his old team. "Real good guy, happy for him."
Damien Brunner also lit the lamp, while Martin Brodeur backstopped the victory
with 29 saves.
Alexander Semin notched a goal and an assist, while Jay Harrison, Jeff Skinner
and Nathan Gerbe each scored once for the Hurricanes, who have lost six of
their last eight games.
Anton Khudobin allowed four goals on 22 shots before being removed midway
through the second period. Cam Ward stopped 8-of-9 shots in relief.
Brunner and Henrique scored 23 seconds apart midway through the second before
Henrique potted his second straight goal with New Jersey shorthanded at 12:51
to provide the Devils with a 4-1 lead.
Harrison netted a power-play goal just 33 seconds later to bring Carolina
within two, but a roughing minor against Skinner 3:56 into the third put the
Hurricanes down a man.
However, Jordan Staal stole a pass near his own blue line and pushed the puck
ahead to Gerbe, who converted the breakaway with a backhander over Brodeur's
glove to make it 4-3 at 4:41.
Semin snuck a low shot from the slot past Brodeur at 12:39 to tie the tilt,
but Ruutu restored New Jersey's lead with a wicked wrister from the high slot
just 51 seconds later.
Carolina couldn't solve Brodeur from there, allowing the Devils to escape with
"It takes a full 60 minutes to get the win at the end of the night and tonight
we fell just short of that," Carolina defenseman Ron Hainsey said. "We need to
all the way if we want to get some wins."
Zajac tapped one home from in front off a nice feed from Ruutu to make it 1-0
just 4:25 into the game, but Skinner brought Carolina even 6:21 into the
second when he tipped in Andrej Sekera's left point blast that missed the net
and caromed off the end boards.
Brunner buried a backhand from the low left side with New Jersey on the power
play at 8:34, while Henrique followed with a nifty backhander over Khudobin's
glove at 8:57 to give the Devils a 3-1 lead.
Henrique extended his goal streak to six games ... Ruutu, who had five goals
and 11 assists in 57 games with Carolina this season, was acquired in exchange
for forward Andrei Loktionov and a conditional third-round draft choice in
2017 ... Brodeur recorded his third straight winning decision ... Both teams
went 1-for-2 on the power play ... Staal registered two assists for Carolina,
while Marek Zidlicky picked up a pair of helpers for the Devils.
The Sports Network